Rensselaer Experts Available To Discuss Federal Infrastructure Proposal

Engineers hold expertise in transportation, manufacturing, digital infrastructure systems

April 2, 2021


President Joe Biden is proposing a sweeping $2 trillion infrastructure bill that would fund improvements to transportation, manufacturing, and digital infrastructure, among other projects. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the country’s first technological research university, are leaders in improving the sustainability, safety, and performance of transportation systems, energy systems, and wireless networks, among other areas. Experts in civil and environmental engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering are available to discuss what impact large-scale infrastructure projects could have on a multitude of systems that impact people across the country.

Improving Transportation and Freight Systems: José Holguín-Veras, the director of the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment at Rensselaer, and Cara Wang, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rensselaer, are leading experts on the role of infrastructure on freight systems and transportation, and the environmental impacts of both. Their research focuses on improving transportation and freight systems in order to increase efficiency, reduce traffic congestion and, in turn, reduce vehicle emissions. Professors Holguín-Veras and Wang are available to discuss the ways in which improved roads, bridges, railways, and ports could affect shipping and delivery of goods, congestion in cities, and emissions in the environment. They can also discuss what their research has uncovered that could guide policymakers as new projects are planned.

Expanding Broadband: Alhussein Abouzeid, a professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering, is an expert in networked systems, the smart grid, and the Internet of Things. Some of his research focuses on modeling wireless networks, as well as wireless spectrum and policies to optimize its use. Koushik Kar, also a professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering, researches communication networks, particularly modeling, analysis, and optimization of the internet and wireless networks. Both researchers are available to discuss the ways in which digital infrastructure can meet future needs.   

Next-Generation Manufacturing: Part of the President’s infrastructure plan would allocate $300 billion to manufacturing. Next-generation manufacturing is a central area of expertise at Rensselaer, with the Institute’s Manufacturing Innovation Center and the Rensselaer Manufacturing Innovation Learning Lab. Faculty and staff from both state-of-the-art centers, including John Wen, the head of the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, who is an expert in robotics, are available to discuss the role that Rensselaer research plays in preparing the manufacturing sector for the nation’s current and future needs.

Upgrading Electric Grid, Investing in Clean Energy: Joe Chow, Jian Sun, and Luigi Vanfretti, all professors in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, hold extensive expertise in modeling, monitoring, and optimizing the electric power grid. Their work will be integral to the development of a cleaner, more resilient power grid, especially as clean energy sources are increasingly integrated. Christopher Letchford, the head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is a global expert in wind engineering. His expertise includes wind power modeling, wind climatology, and the impacts of climate change on infrastructure, transportation, and energy production. Each of these experts is available to discuss the importance of upgrading the nation’s electric grid, and the move toward clean and renewable energy.

Boosting Electric Vehicle Numbers: Part of President Biden’s plan focuses on increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road. A key component of improved and more cost-efficient electric vehicles is greener, cheaper, more efficient, and longer-lasting batteries. Nikhil Koratkar, an endowed chair professor of mechanical engineering, is a leading expert in energy storage technologies. He has dedicated his research to improving the batteries that society already uses, while also developing batteries of the future. He can discuss current battery technology and how advancements in energy storage research could help put more electric vehicles on United States roads.

Upgrading Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Systems: Chip Kilduff, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is an expert in managing water quality and water treatment. He has a particular focus on water treatment approaches like membrane and adsorption-separation processes. Kilduff is available to discuss the importance of upgrading water and wastewater systems and what his research has uncovered about the best methods for managing water quality.   

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